Inaccurate credit reports on foreign importers and exporters open the door to different forgeries in export and import services, said experts at a discussion organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management.
The discussion on ‘practices of obtaining credit report of foreign counterparts in trade services — is it working?’ held at the BIBM auditorium in Dhaka on Monday.
While presenting the research paper at the discussion, BIBM director Shah Mohammad Ahsan Habib said, ‘Recently, 26 companies exported products against a single export order but none of them received payment and even the importer were not identified.’
‘Irregularities worth Tk 600 crore later came to our knowledge,’ he said adding that such incident could be avoided if measures were taken as per the credit report.
He termed expenses around $1.5 crore each year for credit report as reasonable considering the importance of the report.
Ahsan, also a BIBM professor, said that the credit reports of the foreign importers and exporters were mostly traditional without any analysis, which resulted in forgery by fake companies.
BIBM chair professor Barkat-e-Khuda said banks should remain alert to prevent forgery or irregularities in international trade.
‘There are no scopes of irregularity in international trade if banks remain careful,’ he said.
‘Some recent incidences drew our attention on the necessity of more efficient and effective enforcement of the requirements that are associated with commercial risks and the country risk as well,’ said Bangladesh Bank deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan.
He said that ramping up of regulatory attention to anti-money laundering resulted in a trend of ‘de-risking’ in recent years as banks and jurisdictions and sector as a whole were perceived as being more exposed to money laundering and terrorist financing as the international trade transactions were used as instrument for materialising these financial crimes.
BIBM supernumerary professor Helal Ahmed Chowdhury said bankers needed to be more careful so that none could exploit them for illegal means.
Former BB executive director Yeasin Ali informed that 83 per cent of the international money laundering occurs through international trade and that’s why such crime could be prevented only if banks remain alert.
BIBM director general Toufic Ahmad Choudhury was also present, among others.
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